Can I back out after I have signed the offer letter?

I realized I haven’t been updating about my career switch when this blog is supposed to be about my career switch. Sorry, got carried away by my No Poo hair experiment.

Well, I have been very blessed. I received an offer from my internship company recently. However that is after I have already signed the offer letter with another company. Initially, there was no vacancy at my internship company, that’s why I started my job search. However, someone quit recently and the management decided to make some changes in the team and suddenly there’s a vacancy. It was a really attractive offer, better pay and better position.

So what to do when you receive another offer after you already signed the offer letter with a company?

1. Follow your gut

Contrary to what people tell you about how it’s really bad to back out of an offer after you signed, I think following your gut is more important. Ultimately, this is gonna be your career and where you will spend a significant amount of your time each day.

Only you can decide what you want out of your career and don’t let others influence your decision. If your heart is telling you to take up the offer, go with it, because when you reject the offer, you may be stuck with “what ifs” all your life.

2. Take a step back and analyze the offer

Don’t agree to another offer on the spot no matter how good it sounds. Take a step back and rationally analyze the offer. I asked for some time to consider and analyze both offers again.

I asked myself ultimately what will I learn from the job?

While money is an attractive factor, but like what my sis reminded me, I have already given up a high paying job to make the career switch, so money shouldn’t be my biggest factor to take up the job. Because if I really want a high pay, I might as well go back to my old job.

I went back to listing and scoring the Pros and Cons of both jobs ( you can read more about how to analyze the job offer in my earlier post here)
And I also added one more requirement which was listing at least 5 Pros and 5 cons about the offers to get a fairer judgement. It did give me a clearer analysis of both offers, but I still couldn’t come to a conclusion.

In the end, I decided to stick with my original decision, which is to go with the company that I have signed the offer letter with. The main reason is that the fashion industry in Singapore is really small and I don’t want to burn any bridges. I can always apply at my internship company in future, but if I back out of my offer now, I know I will forever be blacklisted at the company and I don’t want that to happen.

Once you make the decision, always make a point to notify the parties immediately. It may be terrifying to call up the company that you are gonna back out of, but I think it’s only the right thing to do. After all, they did spend a considerable amount of their time to hire you and the least you can do is inform them that you are backing out of the offer.

Be sincere, outline your reasons, apologize and make it short. It’s good to write a script if you feel you will get cold feet and stick to it.

Then call up the other company to accept the offer. For my case, since I’m sticking to my original offer, I just politely decline the internship company HR’s offer. She is understanding and even told me that I can apply with them in future 🙂

And finally I read something that puts me at peace. If you find yourself unable to make a decision between both offers, it’s probably because both offers are just as good. Thus, which ever offer you decide to take up, it will be a good decision so just go for it!

The Art of Analyzing a Job Offer

I’ve found a job! 2 weeks ago, suddenly I had a few interviews to go and was really lucky to receive 2 job offers and finally accepted with one company.
Prior to that, there was a lot of nail biting when placed in that dilemma of which company to choose that I decided to write this post.

When the company first offer you a job, don’t be inclined to accept right on the spot. Rather, let them know you will think about it. Tell them nicely and reiterate that you are very enthusiastic about the firm, just that you need some time to consider or discuss with your partner or family.

At that time, I was waiting for the other company A to get back to me. Actually, I had no idea the other company will offer, but I just wanted to ensure I’m totally out of their hiring process before I accept with company B.

So imagine my surprise and dilemma when Company A offered as well. I decided to sit down and analyze both offers. I searched online for several methods but I really like this one best.

Make a list of Pros and Cons for each company. What you like about the company and what you are hesitant about that company. E.g: one of the Pros can be reputable company and one of the Cons can be long commute.
Then score each Pro and each con on a scale of 1-10 on how important that factors is to you.
Total up the Pros and Cons column and subtract them. The final score is the score for that company.

Example:

Pros.
– Reputable Company – 9
– Career Prospects – 8
– Office Hours – 7
Total: 24

Cons
– Office Politics – 7
– Long Commute – 6
Total: 13

Final score: 24-13= 11

I liked this method as it made me realise that though there are a lot of Pros for Company B, there are also alot of Cons in my perspective which in effect resulted in a lower total score for Company B. I really liked Company B’s stuff, however it’s a small company and there’s a need to work retail hours. Thus there were more uncertainties with the job. On the other hand, Company A seems like a safer choice.

After discussing with the Partner, I decided to accept Company A’s offer, though the overall package is actually lower than my expected pay. Well, I guess I could have tried negotiating for a higher pay, but my bad experience with L who developed very high expectations of me after I asked for a higher starting pay also made me cautious and I just want to complete my job search.

I’m actually quite apprehensive and really hope I made the right decision. After making my decision, I called Company B immediately to inform them and I’m glad the boss was really nice about it.

Looking back, I must say I am very blessed to have found a job so soon. I have expected the job search to take some time and was getting dejected.
It’s not a job in design which I initially wanted to go into. There are very few design jobs in Singapore and lately I have also been questioning myself that would I be happy if I went with a design job? I guess I won’t know, the declining bank balance and impending flat payments made me just choose this job in the end, rather than keep holding out for a design job.

So a new journey will begin next month!

To be or not to be

I have been doing a lot of thinking these days. I am currently in my internship and also actively sending out resumes everyday. The fashion jobs are really limited. So far I’ve applied for 4 designer jobs, however 3 require experience and none has gotten back to me. And I don’t know what is a good salary to put down. I cut my previous salary by two-thirds and kind of calculated what is the minimum I can get by, minus my insurance commitments and it still seem higher than what my teacher has said an average assistant designer earn.
And the thing is I can’t really lower it much further because I still have my BTO coming up in 2017 to pay for.
I looked at various options such as taking a premium holiday for few years until the salary goes up, lowering my premium for one plan (I’m going to go for that) and taking on tuition to supplement my income (starting that today too)

So in addition I have also sent in resumes for over 20 merchandising and buyer jobs. You may say I thought the whole career switch to fashion is to be a designer? Well, I initially thought so too, but to be frank, I need CPF for my flat and I can’t just go and start a label on my own now, if I can’t find a designer job (C, my bf will probably faint. He is already feeling stressed over our wedding and Reno cost and me being jobless now) so I have to settle and take on jobs at least related to the fashion industry.
During last week, in Shingo Sato’s class and meeting all the other Singapore designers, I kept thinking what do I really want to do? My dream is simple, I jus wanted to have one fashion show and show one collection. I don’t want to be famous or make tons of money. I don’t need to have my own label. I just want to see my creations into finished pieces. Anyone can draw pretty pictures but to know how to put it together? that then qualifies you as a designer. I asked my fellow classmates and a number of them have not broke even yet after few years in the industry, so you really need a substantial capital to get started and an exit plan I believe if things don’t work out. But I want to start small, maybe put some stuff on etsy and then red dot and then start something online if there is really a following.After all, you may think your designs are good, but if no one buys them it’s not fashion, it’s just a piece of art.

Then I asked the lecturers that were taking the class with me, ” how do their students find jobs if its so limited in Singapore?” Then came the shocking answer that they don’t. Most end up being air stewards and air stewardess. I was shocked. Well these are reputable schools. Of course, one expressed disbelief at how much can I learn in 3.5 months diploma course compared to their students. But honestly, I think it’s the quality of the course too. The number of hours I put in the course is really demanding, in addition fashion design is very subjective to your own talent and skills. Take Alexander Wang for instance, he dropped out of Parsons and yet went on to be Balenciaga’s Creative Director. It doesn’t take certificates to get you somewhere in fashion world, you have to have what it takes and opportunities too. But that being said, this is Singapore, so I think you do need some certificates at least.

I was talking to a junior pattern maker of a local designer brand and asked how did she land the job. She didn’t have any proper certification but just skills and I realized its all about knowing the right people too. She just happen to know a friend who knew the local designer who happen to have a vacancy and she got the job.
I don’t have such a network yet, but really building it up.

So I was starting to question myself when there were no replies from any of the resumes I sent out. One HR did reply and ask me if I was interested in another position but MIA after I replied her with my expected salary which I had indicated as negotiable. In case, you are wondering I am not asking for sky high pay here just something around $2K…but I may have to go lower, I need to ask around more about the salary range. However, to go any lower really means it will be a stretch sustaining my expenses and then I won’t know how long I can last in the job if I have to take on other jobs to boost in the income, so I am trying not to go there.

I am kind of thinking if WDA PCP was a good choice. If I have not had the PCP, I may have gotten a job with the company that I interviewed as an assistant designer for. They seem keen but just couldn’t wait for 2 months which is understandable. And at least I can find other jobs if I can’t find a fashion job. But well, on the flip side the PCP does let me gain some experience in the industry and let me get a feel of what working in the fashion industry is like.

But the lack of interviews is quite a concern. I am quite blessed in the past where I can land a job fairly quickly, in part due to me being able to speak Japanese and there are no lack of jobs if you have that skill. Thus this job hunt is the first time where I had no response, so I was really concerned if it was my résumé or cover letter or is it the salary. I am like decreasing my expected salary everytime I send a résumé out now. And my classmate told me her internship company actually asked her to stay on as a full time staff and she declined. Gosh, if I were her I would have accepted! And she was telling me how she felt the job has no life. Well fashion is not all glamorous you know? Lots of long hours and in my case data entry and excel.

But thank God, I finally got a response yesterday! I am so happy. It’s the same company that interviewed me earlier when I was applying for internship. Its for merchandising role but I really hope I get a job there, I love their stuff!
Fingers crossed for my interview next week! ^^

Internship and the job search begins

Well I have started my internship, quite blessed to be in this company. I actually don’t have much to do as my supervisor is too busy to even delegate stuff to me, so most of the time I keep going around asking people for work.
Still, I am learning things and glad to be there.

My classmate is in an internship where it reminds me alot of L’s company, thus just grateful to be in a bigger company with more structure.

Impatient me has started my job hunt and getting a little dejected with the lack of interviews. I know it’s very early into the job search, but in the past I am blessed to find a job fairly quickly due to my language skills.

I did get an interview with a job agency but I can tell the whole time they are jus trying to sound out if I can go into another industry. The agent even tell me to look for them should I finish my bond and want to look for something else. I also turned down a job opportunity that is high paying, which got me kinda low spirits thinking my future job is probably gonna be $1.8K-$2.5K.

However, I am reminded of another lady who quit her high paying corporate job and started her food business on wheels. She shared she is getting maybe only a tenth of what she used to earn but that is so much more satisfaction.

Today I thought of maybe revamping my resume and cutting out all my past experience and just put fashion related ones. But it’s kind of drastic and I will probably used that only for applyin design posts.

I’ve been looking through portfolios on this website it’s really interesting to see how people present their portfolios and I am trying to beef up mine. One drawback of the Taf.tc diploma in fashion technology course is that they don’t teach you much on fashion illustration. Thus my illustration skills are still the same as 10 yrs ago, what I have learned in my short course in nafa.
Gosh has it really been 10 years?!
How come I feel that my skills have not improved much? Gosh gotta really work hard to bring my skills up to the next level and that can only be achieved through deliberate practice.

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This is what I have done for my final collection, not my best work I feel, but still happy to get it done. I am gonna make further improvements on it when time permits.

Today my fellow intern told me I should sew my own wedding gown and I am like no way! My skills are nowhere near. Then she told me to try google. So I did and to my amazement people really post step by step on how to sew evening gowns.

I found this really cool blog and she detailed step by step on sewing the evening gown and even recommended patterns to buy. I was so inspired I even went to spotlight to have a look at the patterns and spotlight is having a sale, so I am gonna go again tomorrow to have more time sifting all nice patterns. Well I really want to learn how to sew boning and make gowns. Found a Facebook page in Singapore offering private sewing lessons but a bit wary about the level of the teachers as the finish garments posted on the website is not really impressive. Still they are very affordable, so I may try them out. It will be good to have someone to coach me on this.

I did ask Taftc whether they will start an evening wear class but alas it seems the government doesn’t provide subsidy for that, maybe it’s not such a popular field, so there is no industry demand currently.

I am thinking more n more that bridal and eveningwear is a field I want to specialize in. Raffles design diploma course does cover that but it is so expensive and I don’t think I want to spend another 2 years income less.

So the only thing is practice and more trial and error to perfect my skills. I am also planning to intern at bridal studios once my internship is over, while looking for a job. Wish me luck!

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